Published: December 3rd 2011August 25th 2011
Well, today was our last day with Pastor Francisco and friends! We enjoyed another wonderful breakfast of fried black beans, scrambled eggs with cheese and coffee. After devotions, we headed straight to Alba and Juan's home. Our goal was to level off the room, moving dirt again to the other side of the street. We used the pic-ax and shoveled dirt into buckets and carried them across the street...up and down the hill! The dirt was heavy and wet. The great thing is we had many of the ENLACE staff with us to help! We formed an assembly line to get the job done faster. I took a couple minutes to step back and watch the team....they were getting worn out. People were missing the bucket while shoveling, and barely able to hold the shovels. A couple people were just sitting on their knees in the dirt. I quietly prayed for strength of the team and after about a half hour, (and some silly encouraging words) we were back up and running! Amazing what prayer does! :)
We finished the first site after about 2 hours and headed to the second site, where we had to move sand from the street
up into the homes. The sand is used to help compact the floors. The whole neighborhood stepped in to help - including the little kids! The kids loved it! Little Jefferson was so cute...he had a shovel bigger than him and he was digging away. And Marta's little daughter (about 4 years old) filled a little bucket, placed it on her head and carried it up the hill. THIS is what community is all about!
Once we finished, we all stood around in awe. It was so hot and we were just drenched in sweat. At this point, there was not much more we could do. So, a few of us played footbal and frisbee with the kids. More ENLACE staff joined us and interviewed Wally and the families of the new homes. Just to see how much these homes mean to the families made me cry. Marta was shaking and could barely speak. Reena was so happy to express her joy and to have protection for her children. I spoke with a few of the ENLACE staff members...what passion they have for the people of these communities. They are truly living out the word of God.
Lunch was quite
tasty today. Tortilla soup (broth, avocado, fresh tortillas, tomatoes, onions and cauliflower salsa). We had the entire Francisco family join us, along with the ENLACE staff. They were quite the source of entertainment. Gloribel brought out these large green melo-looking fruits. We broke them apart and inside they were a pale pink-milky color with large kidney bean-sized seeds. It tasted like an apricot mixed with watermelon. Then Daniela and Gloribel gave me hand-made birthday cards - I was so touched! These women are incredible! We all gathered for a group photo and Gloribel came out with bags for us. She took the fresh cocoa beans from yesterday and made fresh hot chocolate mixed with cinnamon. The aroma was overwhelming! She told us to not use water, but use warm full fat milk because it brings out the flavor. She also gave each of us girls little wood burned shoe purses. How cute!
Little Pastor Francisco brought out his guitar and we all sat around as Daniela sang us a beautiful traditional church song in Spanish and then we all sang "Open the Eyes of My Heart", "How Great Thou Art" in both Spanish and English. It was so beautiful to
hear the two languages come together. No matter what language we speak, God brings us together. Pastor Francisco then said a prayer over us and we said our goodbyes to the family. Gloribel welcomed us all back to her home and said the community has been tremendously blessed by our presence over the past week. You don't have to do BIG things to make a difference. :)
We packed up and headed to Alba and Juan's home for the dedication ceremony. The three families were all gathered, and nicely dressed. The local pastor led us all in a beautiful set of Spanish songs. Even though I didn't understand most of the words, I felt the power of God moving - His hand was over us. Pastor Francisco gave a short message about feeding and sheltering those in need. He said that us Americans have been an incredible blessing to these families and to the community. That we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and that these people are in awe that we would take time out of our busy schedules and PAY to come help these families. God will grant tremendous blessings to us and they
are forever grateful. We said a prayer over the families that they would be safe in their new homes and then said our goodbyes :( These people's faces will be permanently be impregnated in my mind.
We headed back to the hotel to pack up....well not really because we left almost all our belongings for the people. It's my favorite part! They deserve the items more than we do.
We left Santa Ana and arrived at a beautiful resort up in the mountains! I was not expecting such a beautiful place! Exotic flowers (hibiscus, birds of paradise, hydrangeas) of purples, reds, oranges, yellows, and vegetation (palm trees, avocado trees, guava trees and coffee trees!!). The sounds of multiple varities of birds and unique animals that we dont see often in the States (turkeys, peacocks, quails).
We went to the big lodge for dinner and enjoyed some cheesy lasagna, salad and bread. We have been so well-fed on this trip - not what I'm used to on mission trips!
The rooms were set up with rocking chairs, wood carved tables and hammocks outside, overlooking the beautiful pools and vegetation. We did have to laugh because we were the only ones at
the resort!! The walls of the rooms were super thin and we could hear everything the guys were doing/saying!
What a wonderfully cool evening....perfect for sleeping....zzzzzzzzzzz
There are more photos below